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20141104175716-rp-f-2012-41 How Many Photography Museums Can a Country Have?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Brassaï, John Gutmann, Lewis Hine, William Klein, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Joel Meyerowitz, László Moholy-Nagy, Eadweard Muybridge, Man Ray, W. Eugene Smith, Ed van der Elsken at Rijksmuseum Amsterdam November 1st, 2014 - January 11th
Posted 11/4/14

Suppose you’re a collector of Dutch photography, you have no kids (or they are uninterested barbarians), and you’re reaching that age when you start thinking about your legacy. Which institute would be most suitable for a donation? Which museum would be the best new home for your collection? The Netherlands has the luxury of having not one, not two, but no fewer than four museums dedicated solely to photography. That’s an unusually large number for such a small country. A Swiss collect... [more]

20141029153609-screen_shot_2014-10-29_at_11 Jeder ist ein Curator: How Crowdsourced Curation Can Make Museums Truly Public   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 10/29/14

I think I might have curated my lunch today. I chose a specific sandwich from the collection on offer at the shop and to accompany it I chose a drink that I thought would go well with my sandwich. To balance the selection, I included a banana. The result might have been a “well-curated” lunch, but I’m not sure. It depends on who’s defining of the term. In recent years the word “curating” escaped the confines of museums to be picked up by the mainstream, while the acti... [more]

20141024112240-dandelion_lamp Photo Report: Inside Dutch Design Week   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 10/23/14

Recently, a “Stereotypes of the Netherlands” map made its rounds on the Internet, describing how the Dutch conceptualize their small country’s terrain. Down south, in the middle of Brabant’s “Catholic Carnival Country,” a short distance from “Dumb People, Great Beer” (apologies, Belgium), is the technological oasis of “Philipstown,” so named for the diversified technology mega-corporation. If the city is known for innovation in technology... [more]

20141010103219-destroy How to get an honest opinion about your artwork   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Jonas Lund at Boetzelaer|Nispen September 6th, 2014 - October 11th, 2014
Posted 10/9/14

"Empty, alienating, soul-less, superficial, formulaic, repetitive, awkward, thick, one-dimensional… Imitation of bad work does not flatter." "Yet another denim jeans riff on Yves Klein." "DESTROY." These are the types of criticisms Jonas Lund’s paintings have been receiving lately, but the Amsterdam-based Swedish artist is likely unconcerned. The offending artworks were not yet his—and it appears they never will be. While the works were made at his behest following guidelines from a 30... [more]

20141005172344-unseen_talent_billboards A Different Kind of Fair Vibe: Specialization Rules at Unseen, Unfair, and Amsterdam Drawing   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 10/5/14

As the fall art fair season in Europe gets properly underway with Frieze next week followed by FIAC and Artissima (not to mention that other fair across the pond come December) it's easy to get overwhelmed by overload: the glitz, cash, hype, ADD, FOMO, last big thing, current big thing, next big thing, and all the other BIG THINGS that are par for the course market-side of the art world. But it doesn't have to be that way. Amsterdam kicked things off last month with a trio of specialized mid-September ar... [more]

20140910145108-installation_view_007 For Marlene Dumas politics are always personal   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Marlene Dumas at Stedelijk Museum September 6th, 2014 - January 4th
Posted 9/10/14

Since its long anticipated reopening in September 2012 the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam has served up some fine shows: The Mike Kelley retrospective was, if somewhat airtight, quite comprehensive, and Jeff Wall’s Tableaux Pictures Photographs 1996-2013 could easily compete with the grand overview nine years ago at Tate Modern. But with Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden the museum has hit a new high point. The retrospective of the nation’s best-known painter is by far the best exhibition th... [more]

20140904164646-still_life_with_fish_and_forsythia-1 Art critic pattern blindness: On ignoring trends in Amsterdam this September   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 9/4/14

One of my colleagues crafted his city’s fall preview around the challenge of choosing exhibitions to visit when there’s so much to see. It’s a difficult task we all face, and quite frankly, I might have taken this approach myself. Instead, when charged with writing about September offerings I ended up looking for patterns; like a gallery staging a summer group show, I wondered what ad hoc themes I might attach to Amsterdam art this month. Of course, it’s a task more hopeless t... [more]

20140828064348-bandaged_ear_comparison Too Much Van Gogh: A journey from 3D to 2D and back again   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Vincent Van Gogh at Beurs van Berlage May 24th, 2014 - December 24th, 2014
Posted 8/28/14

There’s some buzz in New York this summer because all seventeen of the Met’s van Gogh paintings are on view together for the first time in over ten years. That’s nice, though an abundance of van Gogh paintings isn’t something that preoccupies us too much here in Amsterdam. In fact, right now we’ve got too many—including quite a few of the ones currently installed at the Met. Packed wall-to-wall in the basement of the Beurs van Berlage these days are some two hu... [more]

20140812101653-de_stad_de_stilte_3 The city as hardware, soft infrastructure, and idea   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Diane Arbus, Mitch Epstein, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, William Klein, Dana Lixenberg, Karl Hugo Schmölz, Ed van der Elsken, Michael Wolf at FotoMuseum Den Haag July 5th, 2014 - October 12th, 2014
Posted 8/12/14

Horizontals, verticals, and some disciplined curves, squares and angles offset by relentless electrical streetlights. The wall with forty vintage photographs marking the start of The Rush and Calm, Moments in the City looks like an architect’s drawing table. Karl Hugo Schmölz’s 1950s documentation of German cinemas, orchestra houses, car dealerships, and shopping malls clearly illustrates the strong focus on hardware during the post-war Reconstruction period. They show the city as la... [more]

Collector's Catalogue Volume 7, Issue 1: Bringing Private Passions into the Public Realm, European Collections   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Posted 8/7/14

Bringing Private Passions into the Public Realm Visiting Focus Beijing at Rotterdam's Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Edo Dijksterhuis considers the trend of Dutch museums forging exhibitions from private collections. For the better part of their lives Henk de Heus and his wife Victoria de Heus-Zomer have worked to build up their business. The De Heus animal feed company has a hundred year history but it wasn’t until the last couple of decades that the family business f... [more]

20140806173431-06 Bringing private passions into the public realm   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Hai Bo, Zhang Dali, Wang Guangle, Ai Weiwei, Qiu Xiaofei, Zhang Xiaogang, LIANG Yuanwei at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen June 14th, 2014 - September 21st, 2014
Posted 8/6/14

For the better part of their lives Henk de Heus and his wife Victoria de Heus-Zomer have worked to build up their business. The De Heus animal feed company has a hundred year history but it wasn’t until the last couple of decades that the family business from rural Barneveld boomed, becoming a world leader in animal nutrition, a multinational active in fifty countries. The de Heus-Zomer couple has invested a sizeable part of the resulting fortune in art. Since the late eighties they have col... [more]

20140724051947-1 Being a bit too breezy about the sky   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Constant, Anne de Vries, Leo Gestel, John Körmeling, Hendrik W. Mesdag, Jan Sluijters, Guido van der Werve, JCJ Vanderheyden, J.H. Weissenbruch, Carel Willink at De Hallen Haarlem June 21st, 2014 - September 7th, 2014
Posted 7/24/14

Compiling an attractive and wholesome summer exhibition: it’s an art form in itself. During the cultural low season, when the regular audience has migrated to southern European beaches, museums hoping to maintain healthy visitor statistics choose to cater to tourists, staycationists, and day-trippers. And that requires a special type of show. Of course, the fun factor is to be reckoned with; the subject should not be too highbrow and instead have a broad, preferably universal appeal. Some... [more]

20140702165411-onzichtbare_man__1_-_michiel_voet How to Depict the Invisible Man?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Michiel Voet at Nieuw Dakota June 15th, 2014 - September 7th, 2014
Posted 7/2/14

One of the most remarkable images in the Jeff Wall exhibition currently at the Stedelijk Museum is the constructed photograph After "Invisible Man" by Ralph Ellison, The Prologue (1999-2000). Ellison’s nameless protagonist sits in his underground hideaway, surrounded by 1,369 light bulbs illuminated by currents rerouted from Monopolated Light & Power. To counter his invisibility he surrounds himself in light. And if the world doesn’t want to see him, he’ll exploit that, thumbi... [more]

20140619073443-untitled_1970_c_larry_clark__courtesy_of_the_artist_and_luhring_augustine_new_york Shooting up on youth’s immortality   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Larry Clark at Foam - Fotografie Museum June 13th, 2014 - September 12th, 2014
Posted 6/19/14

When Kids came out in 1995 it kicked up quite a storm. Larry Clark’s debut feature film depicts a group of teenage skate punks smoking dope, drinking excessively, shoplifting, talking nonsense, basically wasting their lives away. The main character, a world class egomaniac named Telly, has unprotected sex with every eleven year old girl he can talk out of her pants, since according to him virginity is the best protection against venereal diseases. At the end of the movie it turns out he himsel... [more]

20140605101458-bikini_bar Stripping life down to its bare essentials   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Atelier van Lieshout at Kasteel Keukenhof June 1st, 2014 - October 1st, 2014
Posted 6/5/14

The Keukenhof is under siege. Across the road from the world famous flower park, both tourist magnet and symbol of bourgeois dowdiness, two men are loading a howitzer. There’s no mistaking the trajectory of this Big Bertha—the nearby sea of tulips is going to get blown to smithereens. The men are faceless and featureless, like anonymous puppets blindly following orders, ready to become cannon fodder themselves. They are very basic archetypes, just like the hut sitting on the lawn a f... [more]

20140521151156-image_1 Marcel van Eeden: Murder he drew   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
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Marcel van Eeden at GEM, The Hague May 16th, 2014 - August 24th, 2014
Posted 5/21/14

Marcel van Eeden’s work is all about time, but it always starts with a location. In his series of drawings van Eeden tells stories taking place roughly between World War I and 1965, the year of his own birth. Drawing from photographs, advertisements, and, less frequently, short texts, he creates the building blocks of a partially true and partially fictional history. With every new episode, which doesn’t necessarily follow chronology but always connects with the others and often fea... [more]


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